& cplSiteName &

Intel Buys Sparkolor's Assets

Light Reading
NFOEC News Analysis
Light Reading
9/17/2002
50%
50%

DALLAS -- NFOEC -- News has leaked out that Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) has bought the assets of yet another tunable laser company, Sparkolor Corp.

Jerry R. Bautista, director of technology and strategic marketing for Intel's photonics group, confirmed the news at the NFOEC show yesterday. He says Intel will announce the deal officially in the next few days.

Financial details were not disclosed, but it appears not to have been an outright acquisition. According to sources, Intel has purchased Sparkolor's intellectual property and hired some of its technical staff. The other assets of the company, including all its sales and marketing people, were not included in the deal.

Intel already has its own internally developed tunable laser technology, along with the tunable laser business of New Focus Inc. (Nasdaq: NUFO), which it scooped up in May this year, raising questions about how Sparkolor's technology will fit in with Intel's other optical acquisitions (see Intel Scoops Up New Focus Laser Unit).

According to Bautista, Intel is buying Sparkolor for its grating technology rather than its tunable lasers. "Sparkolor had some very interesting technology for thermally-tuned, polymer-enhanced gratings," he says.

More details of this technology are described in a patent that Light Reading unearthed last year (see Sparkolor Secrets Surface). Sparkolor had developed a thermally-tuned laser with the tuning section manufactured out of glass (silica). Glass is ideal for this application because its refractive index properties change strongly with temperature. However, adjacent sections of glass, which do not need tuning, will also be affected by the heat. Sparkolor's big idea was to use a polymer layer with an opposite refractive index change to compensate for the thermal effects in places where they were not desired.

Intel could use this kind of technology to make tunable filters and reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexers, or simply to temperature-stabilize glass-based optical components.

But while the technology sounds interesting, it is largely unproven. While companies both large and small have evangelized the properties of polymers, none has really had success in bringing polymer technology to market.

Sparkolor's investors included Optical Capital Group, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and Storm Ventures.

Intel is still shopping for other startups, judging by remarks made by Gordon Hunter, general manager of Intel's optical products group, at last week's European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC) in Copenhagen, Denmark.

At a dinner in the Tivoli Gardens, Hunter acknowledged that Intel still has some gaps in its optical component portfolio, and eventually (after some needling by Light Reading) he named two of them -- lasers and MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems). Sparkolor doesn't really fall into either of these categories.

— Pauline Rigby, Senior Editor, Light Reading
www.lightreading.com

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
gea
50%
50%
gea,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:45:52 PM
re: Intel Buys Sparkolor's Assets
Damn. Sure seems like Intel is thinking long term. Does anyone not believe that optical will one day return with a vengeance? When that happens, it looks like Intel will be right there. I'm amazed that Intel is able to operate with such a long term focus. Most companies are jettisoning assets that don't make money RIGHT NOW...

Any Intel employees out there? Is Intel really a smart company, or just lucky? Their track record is long enough that I'm starting believe the latter.
gea
50%
50%
gea,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:45:52 PM
re: Intel Buys Sparkolor's Assets
Damn. Sure seems like Intel is thinking long term. Does anyone not believe that optical will one day return with a vengeance? When that happens, it looks like Intel will be right there. I'm amazed that Intel is able to operate with such a long term focus. Most companies are jettisoning assets that don't make money RIGHT NOW...

Any Intel employees out there? Is Intel really a smart company, or just lucky? Their track record is long enough that I'm starting believe the latter.
LightBeating
50%
50%
LightBeating,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:45:45 PM
re: Intel Buys Sparkolor's Assets
Gea,

They look smart. They haven't made too many "crazy" (meaning $B+) acquisitions, liek everybody else during (and even after) the bubble. Rather, they go out there and scoop up the technology and good technical people from failed startups, at very low prices, and have a strong (albeit discreet) internal R&D program in optics. Yes, they could surprise everyone when the time comes.

LB
slhardy
50%
50%
slhardy,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:44:33 PM
re: Intel Buys Sparkolor's Assets
I think both. Strategy and luck are a good thing these days.
curious__george
50%
50%
curious__george,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:44:19 PM
re: Intel Buys Sparkolor's Assets
Yes, as an employee I can honestly say that the senior management "gets it". They do understand that the CPU business ($6B/qtr rev!) is impacted positively by bringing more bandwidth to the desktop. As such they support the long term objective of building an optical infrastructure. Further, they also understand that we cannot grow quickly enought organically and need to be aggressive in the marketplace through acquisitions and partnerships. It's not all rosey however, success in the CPU business does not necessarily mean success in photonics. The company must be flexible and be able to adjust to the very different photonics market. This is not easy for career Intel types.
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: The Web-Scale View

1|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Heavy Reading's former chief analyst Patrick Donegan shared insight from the recent web-scale operators report, which featured research on how web-scale operators view the market, the best web-scale companies to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Cloud Scale Networking: Automation, Virtualization & Simplification

1|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


Cisco's Sanjeev Mervana outlines the latest innovations in networking technology at CES 2017 in Las Vegas.
LRTV Custom TV
ADVA Talks Innovation & the Future of Networking

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Le Maistre and Christoph Glingener, CTO of ADVA Optical Networking, discuss the current state of the industry, cooperation and collaboration, open innovation and the future of networking.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Infinite Video Platform

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Cisco's Infinite Video Platform allows service providers to deliver broadcast-quality video over IP networks. Infinite video supports many devices, from 4K TVs to tablets to game consoles. Join Cisco's Rajeev Raman for a brief tour and live demo.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy: Ability to Adapt Key for NFV

1|16|17   |   6:40   |   (0) comments


Speaking at Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Masergy's VP, Global Technology, Ray Watson, said agility is key to providing the mix and match NFV-based services that are driving business for the managed service provider today.
LRTV Interviews
Equinix: The Data Explosion

1|13|17   |   4:16   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Eric Schwartz, president of EMEA, Equinix, talked about how Equinix is helping its customers manage the influx of data today, and how it's preparing for a future filled with millions of connected IoT devices.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: The Changing Data Center Landscape

1|12|17   |   6:05   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision event in Rome, Heavy Reading's Senior Analyst Roz Roseboro talks about how virtualization is impacting data center evolution and how that evolution is affecting the relationship between service providers, data center operators and public cloud providers.
LRTV Interviews
Boingo: Prepping for Millions of Devices

1|12|17   |   5:07   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Boingo's CTO Derek Peterson discusses how wireless operators will address the needs of low-bandwidth and high-bandwidth apps at the same time, the need for more MHz, the impact of IoT and more.
LRTV Interviews
Comcast Shows Off Gig Gateway at CES

1|11|17   |     |   (1) comment


With its largest presence at CES in years, Comcast took the wraps off its long-awaited gigabit gateway and a new platform for managing the home WiFi network. Light Reading Senior Editor Mari Silbey sat down with EVP Chris Satchell to discuss the latest Comcast advance, and met with VP of Product Strategy and Development Andrea Peiro to walk through a demo of the ...
LRTV Interviews
Colt: End-to-End Key for 2017

1|10|17   |   6:21   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Nico Fischbach of Colt said having a multi-carrier, end-to-end service proposition is going to be key for 2017 -- and SD-WAN is instrumental in making it happen.
From the Founder
Cisco's Clemson on Mobile Cloud Video

1|9|17   |     |   (1) comment


Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators. "If you think about where we're going… whether it's a mobile application, or a video ...
LRTV Custom TV
VMware Telco NFV Solutions – Preparing for 5G & IOT

1|9|17   |     |   (0) comments


Shekar Ayyar, EVP & Corporate Strategy/General Manager of Telco for VMware, discusses VMware's Telco NFV solutions role and foundation for the Imminent Arrival of 5G & IOT.
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
A Women in Comms Glossary
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 1/18/2017
Is Cable One Beefing Up for Slaughter?
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 1/20/2017
Nokia CTO: 2017 Is the Year 5G Gets in the Field
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/19/2017
TV's Paradox: No HDR Without 4K
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 1/17/2017
Cable Has One Thing Verizon Needs
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 1/17/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.